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Wildfire Danger As Hunting Season Approaches

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Fire restrictions may have been lifted for the month of September, but officials are warning that the fire danger remains high.
 
For the first time since 1972, Mesa County is in the top 5% for fire danger during the month of September.
 
With hunting season just around the corner, people have already begun making their way over to the Grand Valley.
 
"We're coming out to go elk hunting. She has a tag for black powder season," said Jeremy Funk, Avid Hunter visiting Mesa County.
 
With frequent hunting in mind, those with the BLM said the unexpected fire danger is a raise for concern.
 
"This year we didn't see the amount of monsoonal flow that we would like to see. We have a lot of fuels that are ready to burn again," said Chris Joyner, Bureau of Land Management, Southwest District.
 
For visitor Jeremy Funk and his daughter Sierra, this came as a surprise.
 
"I know its really dry out here but I haven't heard anything about fire warnings," said Funk.
 
The BLM said the reason this may come as a surprise, is due to the time of year.
 
"On the Western Slope, our fire season is usually at its peak from June to July, and ends around mid August. Usually July has the highest amount, but the monsoonal flow usually tapers it off by end of August," said Joyner.
 
As a result, they suggest hunters in the area should take proper precaution, 
especially when it comes to handling camp fires.
 
"If you're out hunting or camping, you need to have a fire ring and clear away any sort of vegetation," said Joyner.
 
However, Jeremy and Sierra are certain that they have nothing to worry about.
 
"We're not gonna build a fire. We won't have a campfire or anything like that. We don't take the shot until its the right shot. We don't plan on shooting more than once while were out here," said Funk.
 
Though BLM officials want visitors to safely enjoy public lands, they want them to keep this message in mind.
 
"We don't tell the public every single day that we're under these really radical fire conditions unless we really are. We need the public to be really mindful of their activity," said Joyner.
 
As of now, the BLM has decided not to resurface fire restrictions. They hope the community will do their part to ensure everyone remains safe during these fire hazards. 

The Allgood News

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